Friday, January 16, 2009
Icy Bald River Falls
I have wanted to see Bald River Falls in the Cherokee National Forest frozen for a long time. Since it takes a few days of below-freezing days for that to happen, I've had to wait for a while. Everything came together today to give us the opportunity to go see them. The temperature was 6 degrees (F) this morning and the high was supposed to be in the mid-20's. Kenny was off today and my classes were cancelled, so we decided to bundle up and head to Tellico Plains. Due to the recent rains there was a lot of water going over the falls. The spray froze on the nearby trees to coat them in rime ice. Several other people came to enjoy the sight including a couple of local bikers, one told me he had seen the falls "plumb froze" before :). That would really be a spectacle to behold! Kenny spotted a river otter scramble across the ice and into the pool below the falls... but I missed it! :( Earlier I had seen a small brown bird hopping across the rocks of the cliff near the falls, it was a Winter Wren. Unfortunately, it was in heavy shade and moving quickly so I couldn't get a good photo.
A little later we went on up the road a little ways to get photos of Baby Falls. We were stunned to see two kayakers going over the falls in such frigid weather! It seems like their faces would have frozen. That sure doesn't look like fun to me! I had on 2 pairs of thin gloves so I could take photos (ski gloves are just too thick) and my fingers were very cold dry, I just can't imagine getting wet in those sub-freezing temperatures. If you can stay dry and reasonably warm, winter outings are a lot of fun!